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HELP!!  AirPort card not detecting any wireless networks?!?

Update:11-30Source: network consolidation
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hi, i just had an AirPort extreme card installed in my PowerBook G4, and so far, everywhere i try to access wireless, all it says is "no AirPort networks in range."
I have AirPort turned on, and AirPort and "automatic" and "DHCP"selected in Network preferences, and i have the little icon with the gray bars in the top menu bar, but the lines are always gray, even when everyone around me is getting wireless just fine.
I don't know if this matters, but i don't have a base station or anything at home - i only got wireless to use at cafes, etc, or on university campus where they have wireless. at home i just have a free dialup service, so i use a modem.
Also, i'm really confused reading these posts - everyone's talking about "naming" networks, and passwords, and IP addresses, but the apple guy said that once the card is in and AirPort is on, it should just "pick up" whatever network is available. is that true?
if it's working, does the "name" of the random, supposedly "open" and available network in the cafe/hotel/school building just magically "appear" on the menu? Or do i have to do something or configure something each time to set it up? i just really don't understand and no one seems to be able to help. and i just spent a lot of money on this card. can anyone please help???!!?!?
I even opened it up again and checked to make sure the little cable was clicked firmly into the card, and it sure looked like it was.
thanks!!!!

The Best Answer

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Double check that the antenna cable is FULLY seated into its socket on the Airport card - doing this properly takes a fair bit of force.
If your Mac's Airport interface is working properly, indeed all you need to do is click on the Airport menu item. A list of all in-range wireless networks will be shown, and you can simply click (to connect) on the name of the network you wish to join. Just like magic!